Faculty of IT Induction (including Introduction to FIT5144)

The FIT mandatory induction session was held on 20th April, 2016 at Caulfield Campus and it was a great opportunity to get familiar with the various expectations, milestones and support mechanisms surrounding the PhD candidature. The event was also an opportune time to meet other international and local PhD students starting their research endeavour in the various IT projects at Monash.

Date: Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Time: 11.00 noon – 4.30pm
Venue: Seminar Room H7.84, Building H, Caulfield Campus.

The session started with a warm welcome from Professor Sue McKemmish (Associate Dean Graduate Research). We were advised of the enrollment process and the importance of setting the right expectations and goals of our candidature. It was also emphasized that we understood the roles of the supervisors and other house-keeping rules of the three year journey. This included scheduling atleast one meeting per fortnight, having a clear understanding of the roles of each supervisor in the research (if there is more than one),  the expectation from the student and the understanding around authorship of papers and any discovery.We were also informed of our annual leave (20 days) and sick leave entitlements (10 days) per annum which is calculated on prorata basis.

Dr Michael Morgan (Graduate Research Coordinator) in his session focused on  the time-management and support and monitoring mechanism around our candidature ,such as the 6 month review, the confirmation (1 year), the mid-candidature review and finally the pre-submission process. He also highlighted the expectation of the committee during each of the stages of the candidature.

Mr Luke Low Online (Learning Systems Coordinator) briefed us on the Learning Management Systems (Moodle) used at Monash and the various features and course offerings created to support our candidature. He also highlighted the Wiki activity in the LMS which is being heavily used in the FIT5144 course (a mandatory unit for research students). We were then hosted to a nice lunch with fellow PhD students in the Level 7 Kitchen.

After lunch, Mr Tenindra Abeywickrama (PhD Student FIT, Clayton campus) shared with us  his experience as a PhD student at Monash. Some of the things I could easily relate to from his talk was-  to ensure that we keep an annotated bibliography of all literature we read. This as suggested will become particularly helpful to us during the writing stage of papers and the thesis. In addition to this, taking our own initiative to regularly keep the supervisor informed of our ideas and progress is key to building a cordial relationship with the supervisor. He also shared a few tips of efficiently reading research papers (to start first with the abstract & conclusion, then reading the major sections(ignoring complex formulas during first & second read) and finally trying to understand the complexity once you find that the paper is relevant). He concluded his presentation with some useful tips on the importance of work-life balance in order to maintain a positive PhD experience.

Ms Julie Holden (Graduate Student Academic Support) and Mr Noriaki Sato (Research and Learning Coordinator, Library Team Leader – FIT)in their session introduced us to the FIT5145 course which was focused on research strategies and skills. They also updated us on the professional development workshops they will be providing later in the semester as part of their contribution to this course.


Fig 1: FIT5144 Unit Requirements

The whole day workshop concluded with afternoon tea where we were able to mingle with FIT staff members and recent FIT PhD Graduates.

Overall, a wonderful session as I see the value and importance of various professional development and reflective activities being enforced by the faculty to support our research journey during the candidature and beyond.

A great session with plenty things to reflect upon in the coming weeks and months !!!